‘Dr. Ken’ Episode Review: “Ken and the Basketball Star”

Dr. Ken, Season 2, Episode 15: “Ken and the Basketball Star”
Original airdate January 27, 2017.

dr_ken_s02e15 (19)Oh help me please, doctor; I’m damaged

Ken treats the star of Molly’s high-school basketball team for an injured ankle, days before the championship game, but suspects the athlete may have a life-threatening condition.  The boy’s family doesn’t receive the news well, and Ken seems to feel just as bad.  Pat brings his espresso machine to the office, and the coffee is so good that Allison is willing to spend time chatting with him just for more of it, although Pat is worried about people using him for his coffee.  Connor has moved in with Clark, and Clark has major problems adjusting to differences in his fiance’s lifestyle.

There’s a pain where there once was a heart

The argument could be made that the Allison-Pat-Damona story about the coffee is stupid and shenanigany, and I guess it is, but I would go at least as far as they do for another cup of the best coffee I’ve ever had.  Although the Clark-Connor story is cute, this episode would have been stronger without it, and the plot would have dropped easily into some other episode.

dr_ken_s02e15 (29)It’s sleepin’, it’s a beatin’

Ken’s behavior in the examining room is closer to what I imagined for this show than his behavior in the first few episodes of season 1: just really competent doctoring, good bedside manner, and sharp, clever dialogue.  There’s less of Ken the clown when he’s with his patient than in other scenes, and it works a lot better this way.  Although I don’t think the story is especially creative, it’s good enough.

We haven’t had a lot of the Allison-Pat and Allison-Damona dynamics, so this episode feels different, in a good way.  Damona and Allison arguing over coffee is funny, and for once they find something to talk about besides Allison’s husband and Damona’s boss.

Can’t you please tear it out and preserve it?

There’s a nice theme alignment here, with Pat’s self-aware insecurity and Ken’s confident-but-regretful faithfulness to his duty as a physician.  “Ken and the Basketball Star” doesn’t beat that contrast to death, and it might be easy not to consider, but the similar tensions are effective.  I mostly liked it.  4 cappuccinos out of 5.

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About Mitchell K. Dwyer

@scrivener likes movies.
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